How to Use Psychology to Gain the Edge in Your Marketing

Using_Behavioral_Economics_Psychology_and_Neuroeconomics_to_Develop_a_Pricing_Strategy_Shopify_Ecommerce_BlogUsing psychology in your inbound marketing to connect and influence your audience.

There are hundreds of techniques and strategies that you can use during your marketing campaign. But when it comes down to it, it’s how you connect with the consumer that dictates the success of your marketing campaign. This is why psychology is so important to your marketing strategy.

Understanding and using psychology will help you figure out how to craft a marketing campaign that will successfully connect with consumers. A recent example of this is the brilliant campaign employed by the ALS Association, known to everyone as the “ice bucket challenge.” Their marketing campaign went viral and raised millions of dollars due to the fact that they used clever psychological methods in order to influence participation in the campaign. The following are a few ways that you can use psychology to help improve your marketing.

Influence Based on Personal Identity

Take a hard look at your audience and figure out the characteristics of their overall personal identity to influence action. The ALS Association did this by speaking to characteristics that many people believe to be key parts of their personal identity: kindness, charity and the willingness to give. They used these characteristics to incite action in their audience.

You can do this in a number of ways to incite your target consumers to buy into your product or service. For example, if you’re releasing a new software, you could convince consumers to pick it up by stating that it’s for creative and unique individuals who want to keep up with innovative technology. Consumers who identity with those traits will be more influenced to take action.

The Indirect Commitment of the Public

Consumers are much more likely to act if they promise themselves that they will complete a task. The genius of the ALS campaign was that people challenged each other to take part instead of challenging themselves – and they did so publicly. Many people took part so that they didn’t let themselves down or the public down, since the commitment and challenge were done publicly. So how can you use this concept of indirect commitment in your campaign? An example would be to host a free event requiring an RSVP. If you’re afraid that people are just signing up but aren’t actually going to show up, you can ask them to share that they are going to your event in a step after they register. This means that they have committed publicly, which means they’ll be more likely to show up.

Exclusiveness Incites Action

Everyone wants to be part of something that’s exclusive. It’s just our nature. A group that offers membership to anyone that wants it is not going to get the same response as a group that is only offering membership to the first 100 people that sign up. Guess which group is going to reach 100 members faster? The following are a few examples of how you can use exclusivity in your marketing campaign to incite action:

  • The ALS Association used exclusivity in a very unique manner. When one person was challenged to do the ice bucket challenge, they in turn would challenge three other people. Basically, you could only participate in the challenge if you were invited. This made it so that people wanted to complete the challenge if they were invited due to the exclusivity of the challenge.

  • A similar tactic is to create an invite-only group on one of your social media networks. Invite only a certain amount of people – such as influencers and certain consumers that are particularly loyal to your brand. Then offer entrance into the group to others but only if they do some task – such as signing up to your newsletter. Because your group is exclusive, people will be more willing to do what you want in order to get in. This is basically a much smaller-scale version of exclusivity that the ALS Association employed, but nevertheless, it’s still quite an effective method.

  • You can also use the strategy to get people to sign up for certain things by offering a limited about of rewards. For example, the first 200 people that sign up get a free item of some sort. Not only are you providing an incentive to sign up in the first place, you’re providing an incentive to act quickly – the first 200 people will be part of an exclusive club that receives the item. This can sometimes be more motivation than the item itself! This is a great way to gain followers on your social platforms or to build your mailing list.

As you can see, psychology plays a big part in marketing. Basically, you can use psychology in order to motivate consumers to act, whether its by motivating them through their personal identity, through indirect public commitment or through exclusivity.

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